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Religious affiliation and religiosity: do Islamic appeals in advertising lead to higher purchase intentions among Muslim consumers in Dubai?

Catherine Nickerson (Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Effrosyni Georgiadou (Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Zayed University – Abu Dhabi Campus, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Anup Menon Nandialath (University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA)

Journal of Islamic Marketing

ISSN: 1759-0833

Article publication date: 10 March 2022

Issue publication date: 10 March 2023




The purpose of this study was to investigate whether including an Islamic appeal in a culture-neutral product advertisement has a positive effect on consumer attitudes to the advertisement leading to higher purchase intentions while considering religious affiliation and religiosity as moderating factors of the relationship.


Conditional process analysis was applied to examine the mediation of the relationship between ad version and purchase intention through attitude to the advertisement as well as the moderating role of religious affiliation and religiosity among 819 consumers within the Dubai market.


The analysis in this paper revealed that including an Islamic appeal in an advertisement does not have a positive effect on attitude to the advertisement or purchase intention, neither for Muslim consumers in general nor for Muslim consumers with high levels of religiosity. Conversely, including an Islamic appeal has a significant negative effect on the purchase intentions of Christian consumers within the Dubai market, as well as on those consumers who did not state their religious affiliation.

Research limitations/implications

Marketers should reconsider the use of Islamic appeals in product advertising, especially in relation to the promotion of culture-free products within diverse expatriate populations such as that represented by the Emirate of Dubai.


This study sheds light on the underexplored role of religious affiliation and religiosity in relationship to consumer behavior within the field of Islamic marketing in a major retail hub in the Middle East.



The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Zayed University Research Incentive Fund.


Nickerson, C., Georgiadou, E. and Nandialath, A.M. (2023), "Religious affiliation and religiosity: do Islamic appeals in advertising lead to higher purchase intentions among Muslim consumers in Dubai?", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 1128-1145.



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